Monday, 27 February 2012

On cleaning

Under the term, I understand putting things in their ideal state and place. Not just stuffing them in the closet and pretending everything is fine.

So, cleaning might include fixing shoes, spinning up that handful of green fibre that lives on my table and this weekend, I gathered up all my courage and pulled out everything from bottom shelves in the closet. Some of the boxes weren't touched for yeas, bags with things that never got finished those ten years ago when I was sewing quite a bit were crammed in the darkness...
Among the remnants of my short sewing career, I found a skirt I made some 10 years ago. Or rather 15. I didn't really measure it but the qualified guess is that I was some 20cm less around the equator back then. And that was before my anorexic times when I felt like a fat ugly blob of lard.

Which was actually pretty triggering. I still haven't fixed an appointment with my dermatologist because I want to get rid of a mole that grew on my beer gut and I just feel ashamed of that fat mass. And that the cracked skin on my feet will be attributed to my excess weight.

This all gets boring after a while. It's boring even for myself and I'm living through the mangled emotions, disordered eating, awful body image and the nagging thoughts. Every time I eat out, I'm nervous that someone is watching how that awful person even dares to add milk to her coffee, or how the sack of fat dares to buy food. That chocolate was for a friend I went to see yesterday, by the way. He lives some 20 minutes walking from our place and when I got there, I felt pretty tired and my feet were aching so not only am I a bag of fat, I'm also a rotten one.

Now, what.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Being a perfumista is tough.

"You cooked something, am I right, and burned it."
"No. I just set a kitchen towel on fire. Don't ask me anything."
"Uh, I set a kitchen towel on fire."
"How the hell you did it? [In this entirely electrified kitchen, the steaming hot hell]"
"I heated it in the microwave. And no, I didn't set the microwave on fire. The towel just turned brown and stinky."
"For goodness sake, why did you nuke a kitchen towel?"
"Um, I needed to heat it up."
"What else have you burnt? And why did you need to heat up a kitchen towel, of all things?"
"It was the towel only, and, frankly, I was advised that to open a stuck bottle, one should heat up a towel in the microwave and wrap said bottle in the heated towel."
"[sniff?] Are you sure you didn't set anything on fire? It stinks awful here. And what sort of idjit told you about this?"
"The towel caught fire. But only after I took it outside to stink here. It's the wind, too much fresh oxygen. And I opened the door to the terrace. I beat the shit out of the burning tower with a stone so that the flames die out. And, a friend advised me on the stuck stoppers."
"Your friend is freaking crazy. Are you hurt? And are you sure nothing else caught fire? It stinks awful in here."

A few side notes

1. The friend in question was Elena.
2. No, I didn't open the bottle this way. Remember, I threw the towel outside, it caught fire and... well.
3. The bottle did get opened. I tried to heat it up by immersing it in hot water which cleaned the outside of the bottle nicely and released a bit of smell. Then I gave up and asked dad to do something with it. He tried, cussed and went to the garage to find a wrench.
4. It was Balenciaga's Fuite des Heures, it smells nice and expect a rant sometime soon.
5. Yes, my mom thinks I'm a bit crazy.
6. No, the towel wasn't salvaged, it burned and evaporated entirely but for the bit under the stone.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A camel fix

In the last few months, for some reason, I had a craving for camel wool yarn. Not that there would be none in my stash but one needed to be ripped from a sweater failure and redyed (I don't really like the camel colour), another didn't talk to me at the moment so I went on a shopping spree.

It resulted in an acquisition of 150 grams wool/silk/camel/cashmere blend in sort of yellowy white, a cone of wool/camel/baby camel blend which cost arm and leg and which is very fine and I'll have to knit it in several strands. After it is rewound and redyed (the damn beige again).

And I spotted Steppe by Bouton d'Or and Lady Blatt by Anny Blatt. Anny Blatt gets expensive and the Steppe was a bit more than I was willing to pay so after some drooling I just gave up, thinking that 1500 km of yarn is enough.

Some two weeks ago while checking for spring news in the yarn world, I got to the Bouton d'Or website again and the Steppe was on sale. Upon quite some pondering, I acquired 21 balls in four colours. I'm of the opinion that one should get their gifts themselves when there's no certainity that normal gifts will arrive. (1)

I didn't know what I would do with the yarn but somehow, the idea crystallized itself.

The swatch:

Yes, intarsia. I made a gauge swatch and I washed and blocked it. I needed the stitch count in both directions because I needed to manage somehow with the pattern. Usually I only do column gauge (for non-yarny people: how many stitches are there horizontally per 10 cm) but this time I needed the row gauge (how many rows are there per 10cm) so that I could calculate the size of the triangles. I managed somehow, cast on, messed it up, cast on again, messed it up in a different way which is however fixable later on, knitted some...

and as I took the yarn with me to my three-day mountain retreat while failing to take two cables I had to manage the non-collaborating mess on one long circular needle. In fact, I did have another cable but the ending got unglued and it would not hold; I did use it for fixing dropped stitches or miscounted pattern. Fixing intarsia is a major pain in the butt, and one that can't get easily fixed by cinchocaine (2), I'm telling you.
I need to transfer the cluster of wool on two long circs to show the whole thing... and I'm afraid I may run out of yarn.

(1) where normal be defined as things the recipient actually wants, be it for fancy or for need, in colours, sizes and other parametres that befit the tastes and needs of the recipient. Not clothes that will fit perfectly well after the recipient loses ten kilos, or stuff the recipient's mother would gladly wear if she were the age of the recipient.
(2) yes, an ointment for haemorroids lives in my bathroom drawer and travels with me, the gluten thing... well, whatever. It's good for puffy eyes, too.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


It's my birthday in a few days.

The original plan was something at my grandma's because her birthday is around now and there are several other birthdays in the family. Related to that, two of my cousins planned to go skiing for a few days after the party at gran's.

See? Nothing speshul for me. The best birthday I ever had was a few years ago in Italy when I bought an almond cake in Ikea and ate it whole. Alone. (I was probably sick afterwards but that doesn't really matter.)

Today, mom announced that (a) one cousin is coming tomorrow and staying only until Sunday, leaving only her son behind with some friends who will be up in the mountains (b) another cousin is coming for grandma's birthday lunch, leaving his son with us (c) on Friday I'm having a birthday party (d) she already ordered a cake. Chocolate cake. (e) And we're going to the mountains sans cousins.

All that's missing is a bouquet of anthurias, those horrid phallic-vulvoid blossoms that are, for some reason that entirely eludes me, considered a luxurious treat in the bouquet realm, or anything in yellow. To prevent this, I went to drop some overdue books at the library and another cousin (I have many) runs a florist shop. I planned a chitchat with her, an order for a bouquet of carnations but she wasn't there. I came back to the office on the verge of tears (again).

I love carnations and I never get any, for some reason, they are considered cheap. They're great in winter, they don't wilt too fast like roses do. L. did have some in the shop but I didn't feel like talking to some other lady... the plan was to order a bouquet and let dad pick it.

Anyway. I don't want to go to the mountains and mom needed to do some hardcore persuading; I decided to go because she wanted to and she wouldn't go alone and because the cousins were supposed to be there. Remember, I didn't want to go in first place so the idea of my mom's rather focused attention freaks me out. I'm not good with preteen boys the cousins intend to drop at us. I don't want to go skiing. I don't want to go out until it's spring. I don't want to talk to people. I want to sit, read and knit my birthday yarn.

Neither do I want a birthday party. No chocolate cake; or, yes, chocolate cake, absolutely, but this is sheet cake with some ganache and whipped cream, not the real thing that starts by melting 300 grams of chocolatey goodness.

Yes. Sheet cake, made of wheat flour and stuff. Yes, I'm on gluten-free diet. Or, well, mostly gluten-free, I do transgress sometimes. I can have a bit of pasta without the consequent diarrhoea. Or a piece of cake. Not a bit of pasta and a piece of cake. Yes, I'm certain that mom didn't go to a gluten-free bakery as there is no installment I'd know about which could provide a gluten-free cake. Mom doesn't believe in my gluten problem thingy because she doesn't notice the aftermath, she only sees me nibbling on a small piece of bread or a bit of pasta.

Also, I told mom that I want to bake my birthday cake. Which was, it seems, graciously ignored.

Now I'm torn. I absolutely don't want to go anywhere but I don't have stuff to bake from scrap at home. Just the idea of going to the grocery makes me cringe, in fact, I'd gladly curl under my table. I don't feel like baking. Nobody will appreciate it anyway. I don't feel like getting a cake anyway.

Hey, I just want to be left alone. Since it's not too possible, why the universe messes it up with that goddamn cake?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Oddments, part 1

My laptop is acting up and it should be covered by the warranty. It means that I needed to move all data to safekeeping... and at this occasion, I removed all the movies into a folder named not Movies but Films, cat pictures were relegated to two folders, Kitty for Tähti and Kittehs for the rest of the world's catkind.

And then there were random pictures meant usually for the blog or for some ephemeral purpose which didn't fit any category. Which is why I'm posting them here.

1. Thirty kilos ago.

Taken in around 2003 on our holiday in Australia with the oldschool camera that used actual film, children. This image is a digital photograph of the print, thus the quality.

2. My poster for one of the Ravelry fundraisers.

3. Blahniks.

I got these shoes a few weeks ago and wanted to brag. I'm a beginner shoe freak and these are my first Blahniks. Hopefully last, I intend to recover fast.

4. Fat household

The picture was taken by such a good friend that I didn't wear a bra when she was visiting. Now L. has moved back to across the world and I badly miss her, while Tähti is moreless permanently stationed at my grandparents', excelling in her therapist job.

5. Storage box.

I'll get a custom made cabinet for my perfumes someday. Meantime I need to make-do.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Living under a big stone

I often say that I'm a troglodyte. I don't live in a real cave, I have quite a spacious place with many windows and a nice view but I'm pretty much a loner. It can be demonstrated by the mere fact that on a Friday night, I'm sitting in my cave lofty room, painting my nails and browsing book reviews on Amazon.

I'm a medievalist. And, well, I started browsing the bestseller lists in the History category and I was stunned.

There are so many books about WWII.

Alright, Nazis in around here, fighting in the Pacific there, people must be interested in all that stuff and that's the market but I just don't get it. The 12th century was simply much cooler.

And now I'll hide under my stone again. I intend to paint my nails peacock green and spend the evening in the company of either Murasaki Shikibu or Jacques Le Goff, depending.